February 15, 2009

Tampa Bay Game 56: vs Washington

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Washington Capitals 5-1.

I thought that they were still in this game at the end of the second. The Lightning were hitting and shooting, after Ramo came in at the beginning of the second, they'd only allowed one more goal, and they'd managed to get a goal on the Caps goalie. They've come back from being down by three before - a few times, in fact - and it was only 4-1 at that point.

And then...I'm not sure what happened. In the third period, they were an entirely different team. They came out flat and stayed that way. They had 14 shots in both the first and second each, and then only 4 shots in the third. Lecavalier was typical of that himself. He had 4 shots in the first, 3 shots in the second, and then only 1 shot in the third. Whatever was said during the second period intermission in the dressing room, it was exactly the wrong thing.

It looked to me as if the ice was really bad. The puck kept bouncing around and players were falling. I thought that was strange since the St. Pete Times Forum usually does alright with the ice, I think. Especially considering that it's Florida and all.

I'm not sure if McKenna just didn't know what had hit him, or if the teams wasn't giving McKenna the support that he needed. It was probably a little of both, I'm sure. Ramo did a lot better, but, again, it's hard to tell sometimes if that's because of how the team's playing in front of him or not.

The Caps jumped on any little mistake that the Lightning made - and while they made a lot of them, it probably wasn't an more than they usually make. Most of the time, those no-look passes that the Lightning try to do (and often end up on opposing teams' sticks) don't get them into too much trouble. But Washington took those little gifts and made it work for them. It wasn't so much that the Lightning played any different as it was that the Caps weren't as forgiving of the mistakes Tampa Bay typically makes. Even still, the Lightning were in the game until the third period, despite that.

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